New and Notable

Fathom Lane and Mason Jennings reviewed.

album covers

Fathom Lane, Fathom Lane

This local band’s new self-titled record got an unexpected boost when its moody cover of Lou Reed’s “Perfect Day” began getting air-play on The Current—and then, out of nowhere, Lou Reed up and died. As unfortunate as this convergence of events was, however, it shouldn’t detract from the fact that the rest of the album is well worth a listen as well. Featuring dreamy lyrics, lush harmonies, trippy electronics, and a penchant for wide, spacious grooves, Fathom Lane will appeal to fans of Iron and Wine, Bon Iver, Cowboy Junkies, and other contemplative bands that like to lope leisurely from one chord to the next. Lead singers Michael Ferrier and Ashleigh Still have an intoxicating vocal chemistry, and the range of moods their band can access is impressive.

Always Been, Mason Jennings

“Joy” is the word Mason Jennings uses to describe the prevailing mood he was after on Always Been, his 10th studio album. So if upbeat love ballads and peppy story songs are your thing, and Jennings’s syrupy baritone tickles your ear, this album will not disappoint. Many of the tunes have a slightly old-fashioned feel, with boom-chukka guitar strums, a no-gimmick band, and some occasional sweetening of the mix with strings and backup singers. Producer Bo Ramsey has delivered a polished product, and the sonic contributions of several guest artists—including Neil Young’s drummer Chad Cromwell, bassist Gordon Johnson, and ace multi-instrumentalist David Mansfield—add layers of tasty appeal.